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Iridium Demand Jumps Fourfold on Electronics as Prices Surge

Iridium consumption jumped fourfold last year, led by demand from makers of crucibles used to manufacture light-emitting diodes, driving an 84 percent gain in prices, Johnson Matthey Plc said.

Total demand advanced to 334,000 ounces, from 81,000 ounces, with consumption in the electrical industry surging to 194,000 ounces from 7,000 ounces, the London-based company said in a report today. Prices for the platinum-group metal rose to $780 an ounce by the end of 2010, from $425 at the end of 2009, the company said. Iridium was at $1,050 today.